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Finding Records of Apprenticeships
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Created By:Laurie Kirby

My GGG grandfather was a silversmith and "mesh maker", or so it says in a letter he wrote when applying in 1829 for a pension in respect of his Revolutionary War service. He was born/grew up and lived as an adult for a time in the Oblong near Amenia, NY, but had very strong links with Sharon, Connecticut and served in the Connecticut Line in 1776-7. What I'd like to know is how to find out whether he was apprenticed to a silversmith in order to learn the trade and whether records of such contracts of employment still exist and where they might be found.

Laurie Kirby

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Joined: 8/9/2010
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Created By:Dale H. Cook

The southern part of the Oblong was adjacent to the Beekman Patent, and became part of Dutchess County. Since Amenia borders on Dutchess I would suggest searching the Beekman Patent database here. It currently covers sketches of families from A to Leavens (the index covers all names in case your ancestor married a Beekman woman whose family is in the database). Three later volumes, not yet online, cover Lee to Rogers, and the author is working on an eleventh volume with more to follow. Since there was often movement between adjacent towns it may be worth a try. 

Dale H. Cook, Member, NEHGS and MA Society of Mayflower Descendants;

Plymouth Co. MA Coordinator for the USGenWeb Project

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Created By:David Lambert

Very often an apprentice record was in the personal papers of the family of the child, or the person offering the apprenticeship.  These records will often turn up in historical society archives, but were not required by law to be placed in a county court.  The only time you will find a court record is when a contract was breached.  Or there was abuse against the apprentice from their master.  You often seen runaway mentions published in the newspapers as well. 


David Allen Lambert, NEHGS Online Genealogist

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Created By:Barbara Bittner

It was stated in my g.g.g. grandfather's obituary that he was apprenticed at 18 to pay a debt for his father and that was how he learned the trade of millwright. This was in Vermont, probably either Bennington or Windham County in the late 1700's/ early 1800's. 

Any tips on how to find these records, please?

Thank you!

I hope the attachment opens properly, I had to convert it. Thanks!

File Attachment(s):
Hiel Hunt Obituary.doc (27136 bytes)

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Created By:Stuart_3

You should check your family genealogy for town origins, then check local histories and town records for silversmiths and goldsmiths in those areas.  Often extended kinship relations were exploited over generations.  For example, after the Revolution many families from Redding Connecticut moved to Amenia and Sharon to develop local iron industries. Back in Redding, Simeon Munger (1752-1833) was a silversmith and goldsmith listed in surviving town grand lists from 1796 to 1815, living at Redding Ridge (Silversmith Lane, Redding).  Simeon was a Tory (Redding Loyalist Association) and was buried in the Christ Church (Episcopal) Cemetery at Redding Ridge.  Who was your ancestor? I know a lot of dead people in Fairfield County, CT.


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Created By:Judith_163

In the Philadelphia City Archives, I found some 19th-century "Apprenticeship Indentures" in the Guardians of the Poor records (record group 35).  Susan S. Koelble's book _Philadelphia Guardians of the Poor, Indenture Records, 1791-1822_ provides abstracts of these records.  A library catalog search of the subject heading "Indentured servants" might lead to records for other cities and towns.


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